"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Running Away from Big Girl Panties

I signed Princess up for Girls on the Run this year. Other activities I've tried with her have come to bad ends. With sports, she wants to do certain parts (being goalie, throwing in the ball, batting), but not the rest. She simply won't participate in 90% of said sport. She took tap. She was good. I mean good. But there was one girl who was better. So Princess quit. And by "quit," what I mean is, "started raging on the way home from school so she couldn't physically be forced into a leotard and transported to class."

But I saw her face when well-meaning people would ask all the kids what kinds of things they do and everyone would answer and Princess would say, "nothing."

This year she was old enough for Girls on the Run. It's a perfect program for her. It's as non-competitive as humanly possible with actual humans participating. It has all the girlie-girl stuff Princess loves. It would provide some level of physical activity for her. I would run the 5k with her: something we'd both enjoy! She would get a t-shirt and a medal. And, best if all, she wouldn't be able to use the same method of quitting, because she's bussed directly from one school to another.

Backing up to running the 5k.

I started noticing that whatever time I came to pick up Princess, she was standing around while other girls were running or walking the track. She wasn't the only girl standing around, but it was always. I spoke to her coach, and she said that Princess has very little endurance, but she's participating and doing fine. Ok.

This morning. This morning Josh discovered last minute that Princess had not done something she really, truly needed to do before leaving for school. Not a negotiable in any sense of the word. This event came on the tail of Princess being reminded to do several things she always needs to do, and having to stop something she wanted to do more to go fix it. Things were not pleasant as they were.

The other children and I had to leave to walk to the bus stop, so I asked Josh to make sure Princess ran to catch up with us. She ran until she was far enough from the house that she could pretend she didn't hear Josh anymore, and then she walked. She was closer to me than Josh by then, so I reminded her she needed to run, and if I got to her first, things weren't going to be pretty.

I got to her first.

It wasn't pretty.

I put my hand around her shoulders, grabbed a fistfull of sweatshirt, and started to jog. Slower than I actually run, which is very, extremely slow. Slower than I walk, in fact. We "ran" for 200 feet. The entire 200 feet, Princess screamed and wailed and gasped about how she couldn't breathe and how I was killing her.

Two hundred feet.

Divorce rates for regular people are through the roof. Divorce rates for parents of special needs kids, well, it could be interpreted as "why-even-bother percent." I read somewhere (to be honest, probably Reader's Digest- the foremost leader in bathroom information and bizarre jokes about dogs) that the best predictor of special-needs-parent-marriage-success is a very, very dark sense of humor.

Enter: why I think there's a darn good chance we'll beat the odds.

I came home from the bus stop, like I often do, disgusted and demoralized. I told Josh I was calling Princess's coach and pulling her from the 5k. That there was no point if she couldn't jog 200 feet without dying. He had a look.

What? You don't agree with me.
Maybe you should run it by her coach.
Why? She clearly can't do it. She hasn't even been training.
It can be walked.
Oh sure! Yeah. Three hours with Princess either moaning and complaining, yelling at me, or trying to get away from me. Yeah. That'll be fun.
It's three hours you'd be with her.
Put on your Big Girl Panties.
No! They're ugly!
I think they're beautiful.
Well you're wrong. They're hideous. They're the granny kind. The go up past my belly button, and they billow, and the elastic is overworn, and they're yellowed with weird stains.

That's only because you have to carry so much sh!t around in them.

Yeah. I think we might make it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Another Installment of "Things You Probably Haven't Said"

Brought to you by Kerrie. Be jealous.

You know, I think it's really great you're excited about your new deodorant. It's ok to be excited about it: it's new, it smells good, and it's a clue that your body's changing into a grown-up's, which is pretty cool. The thing is...well, the thing is that it's not the kind of thing other people are going to get excited about. They'll get excited about their own deodorant, maybe, when it's time for them to use it, but they aren't likely to get excited about anyone else's deodorant. So if you want to tell people about your deodorant, that fine. Just be prepared that they're going to say, "oh," or something like that. Not do a dance of joy.

But the main thing to remember is, if you want to share the smell of your deodorant with someone, like maybe a sister, for instance, you really should ASK before you shove it under their nose. Because if you don't ask, it's fairly likely they'll snatch it out of your hands and throw it in the wastebasket. You know. Like just now. So it's ok to be excited about it.

Just ask first.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Long Walk

There's a quarter mile between my kids and their bus stop. Much to their chagrin, we walk. Anyone who wants to complain about it gets treated to my lecture series: "Why This Is Good For Your Brain."

It also gives us time to work things out.

The day didn't start so well. It was one of those mornings where Princess took all my suggestions and ground them up in the garbage disposal. It was not one of those days where I could say, "oh well. Let's hug." It took one-eighth mile for me to be the one to say, ok, that's enough. Sniping at each other is not working.

While waiting for the bus, I hung out with her and cuddled her and told her how much I loved her and gave her really obnoxious smoochies, all of which she forcefully rejected. Mostly by stomping on my foot and trying to trip me. And then something new happened.

A spider ran up my arm. Not an actual arachnid, one that would cause me to do a weird arm-shaky dance, but Princess's hand. And she said, "look Mom, there's a spider running up your arm."

Honestly, it took me a minute to catch on. My initial internal response was that she was trying to annoy me. And then I thought,

wait. Is she being silly?

She was.

I am still struggling to be silly with her, but I did keep holding her in a casual hug, and we were both smiling when we hugged good-bye at the bus's arrival.

And then I had a quarter-mile to smile to myself.